Shy people tend to be seen fortifying themselves in various social situations. They often avoid social interaction with others, and are reluctant to share personal information with anyone. Do you have a friend or relative who is very shy? Sometimes, his nature can be very frustrating for you, especially if you want to have a closer relationship with him. Don't worry, follow the steps below and be patient. Over time, you can definitely encourage him to open up more to you.
Method 1 of 5: Melt Them Down
Step 1. Take the initiative to start first
Don't get me wrong, shy people also want to interact with other people. However, this desire is often hindered by excessive fear and anxiety. This is why they rarely start a conversation with other people. So if you want to get closer to them, take the initiative to talk to them first.
- Slowly, approach your shy friend or relative. Don't forget to keep your attitude relaxed. Approaches and self-introductions that are too formal can actually make him even more nervous and awkward.
- If you're in an unfamiliar place, approach him and tell him that you're happy to finally meet someone you know.
- If you have never or very rarely interacted, explain in advance how you know him.
Step 2. Ask for help, ask questions, or make general comments about things around you
Focus on ideas and/or actions, not feelings. This will make it easier to respond to you.
Ask questions that can't only be answered with "yes" and "no". Also, design the conversation so that you can ask follow-up questions. This trick will make it easier for you to communicate with him.
For example, try asking, "What do you want to make for your art class assignment later?". After he answers your question, ask him to go into more detail and ask follow-up questions
Step 3. Balance his "strength" and imitate his posture
This attitude is able to show your interest without the need to appear aggressive. Imitation will also strengthen attachment signals and help speed up the process of developing your relationship.
- But remember, you should focus more on mimicking his mood and subtle movements. Imitating his behavior with firm and explicit movements can be interpreted negatively by him.
- For example, if he's leaning his back against a wall, try doing the same thing but don't overtly copy all the details of his movements at that moment.
Step 4. Observe her body language
If your friend or relative is really shy, he or she will be reluctant to tell you about her discomfort at the time. Observe her body language; notice if he looks comfortable and relaxed, or just awkward and tense.
- If his arms are crossed in front of his chest or tucked in his pants pocket, he may be feeling uncomfortable. On the other hand, if his hands are hanging at his sides relaxed, it's a sign that he's comfortable enough with you.
- If his body position is directed away from you, he will most likely want to stop the conversation with you immediately. On the other hand, if the position of his body is directed towards you (including the position of his feet), chances are that he is comfortable enough.
- If his movements seem awkward or tense, he is most likely feeling uncomfortable. On the other hand, if his movements seem calm and steady, you can assume he's okay.
- If he makes consistent eye contact with you, he's more than likely interested in continuing the conversation with you. On the other hand, if he often looks away or looks out of focus, it's a sign he's feeling uncomfortable.
Step 5. Slowly, direct the conversation to things that are more personal
Your conversations with him should be able to move slowly to things that are personal so that he is able to manage his comfort. Asking her feelings or views on the topic you are discussing is the easiest way to slowly slip into a more personal realm in a natural way.
To implicitly shift the conversation to a more personal realm, ask “What attracted you to the project?” or “Why did you choose that project?”
Method 2 of 5: Directing His Attention To Things That Are External
Step 1. Focus on the external
Shy people tend to focus more on themselves and their inadequacies. By shifting his attention to things that are external, he is more likely to feel more relaxed and able to communicate more freely.
A person's shame will increase when he feels humiliated or humiliated. Discussing events or subjects related to your surroundings reduces the chance that you will accidentally embarrass them
Step 2. Focus on the external at least until your conversation feels more natural, and the other person seems more relaxed
Shy people are very self-conscious; as a result, they often avoid hand movements or facial expressions in conversational situations that make them uncomfortable. When their bodies and expressions seem more relaxed, it is likely that their self-awareness has decreased.
Getting into the personal realm too soon will only overwhelm him and pull him away from you even more
Step 3. Involve him in your activities
This is useful if your conversation is still feeling stiff and sluggish. Doing something together can smooth the flow of communication and reduce the pressure he feels when communicating with you.
Playing games together is a great way to focus his attention on things that are external.
For example, you could ask, "Do you want to play games to pass the time?". He will most likely ask you what game you are going to play, so make sure you have your answer ready. If he recommends another game you're not familiar with, don't worry. Giving him the opportunity to deliver game instructions will train him to have a more comfortable dialogue
Step 4. Slowly, direct the conversation to more personal things
Remember, do this only when the conversation feels more natural and less difficult for both parties. This means that you can chat with him for a few minutes without having to constantly think about how to get him to talk.
A good question that can provoke him to talk about himself is, "What do you usually do in your free time?". After that, you can ask follow-up questions about his hobbies.
- If he seems to be fortifying himself, revert the conversation to things that are external and keep a close eye on the situation. If he looks more comfortable, try to get back to his personal realm.
- If you're still having trouble touching his personal realm after a few tries, let him know that you enjoyed spending time with him, then invite him to do the same activity again another time. This will give him extra time to get comfortable with your interactions.
Method 3 of 5: Expressing Yourself to Create Emotional Relationships
Step 1. Gradually, convey personal information about yourself
This shows that you are willing to "weak" yourself in front of him by giving your full trust. As a result, there will be a sense of security and comfort in him to do the same. First, tell us about your hobbies and views.
- Start by telling us what you usually do in your free time.
- After sharing factual information, try to start sharing emotional information in order to create a stronger emotional connection.
- Do not rush. If he still seems nervous or uncomfortable, don't rush to share your emotional information. Start by providing simple, positive details, such as “I watched a great movie last week. My mood got really good until a few days after.”
Step 2. Show your nervousness in the situation
In addition to expressing your emotions, this attitude will also suppress his worries; she will realize that she is not the only person experiencing social anxiety. Another advantage, slowly a natural intimacy in the conversation will build, especially because you have been willing to express your feelings for him.
- For example, you could say, "Actually, I was really nervous when I had to talk to you." He's more likely to ask why. If you think a compliment would embarrass him, just explain that you often feel nervous when you have to approach other people.
- Don't jump right into an emotional confession; chances are he's not ready to hear it, feels uncomfortable, and is turning away from you.
Step 3. Ask him what level of openness he deserves
Always respect the boundaries he sets and don't expect too much. Your goal is to make learning open to you. So, even if he hasn't been able to reveal his biggest secret to you, at least your friendship has gradually increased.
- Try asking how he feels about the situation. At least, this question is lighter than if you asked him how he feels about you or your friendship.
- A good way to dive into his feelings in moderation is to ask, “How comfortable are you now?”
- Then you can ask open-ended questions (which are not limited to “yes” and “no” answers). For example, you could start by asking, “In this situation, what makes you feel…?”. If he starts to seem withdrawn, go back to safer, "superficial" questions.
Method 4 of 5: Inviting Him to Interact Online
Step 1. Get in touch via email or social networks
Sometimes shy people feel more comfortable making social connections with other people through the internet. In cyberspace, they have the ability to transform themselves and manage how others perceive them; as a result, their anxiety is reduced because they feel they have the ability to control.
- Social networking sites allow shy people to develop relationships with others, without having to be afraid to respond quickly as is the case in face-to-face communication.
- If you want to talk about personal things with him, make sure you use a private network (either via WhatsApp, Line, or a short message on Facebook). He may feel uncomfortable if he has to provide all personal and sensitive information in a public space.
Step 2. Start a conversation with a topic that also interests him
In addition to providing topics to discuss, this will also lighten the mood between you. Communicating online also allows you to share videos, photos, games or general knowledge with them.
Avoid starting a conversation, even online, by sharing or asking for personal information. Most likely, he will feel uncomfortable and immediately withdraw from you
Step 3. Reveal yourself to take the conversation into more personal territory
"Weakening" yourself in front of him will make him feel safe to do the same. If he's still having trouble opening up, take control and ask him to share it with you.
- Expecting something in return is a natural and worthy thing to do. But always remember, there is no need to set certain standards and demand them to meet them. Also consider the limitations it makes. For you, it may be just a little self-disclosure that doesn't complicate things. But for him, it could be an extraordinary act that goes beyond his comfort zone.
- Also consider your vulnerabilities. If you don't think he will reciprocate your actions, consider not really revealing everything about yourself.
Method 5 of 5: Understanding the Introvert Personality
Step 1. Distinguish shy people from introverts
Sometimes, when someone is considered “shy”, they are actually an introvert. Although shy and introvert have similar characteristics, these two terms are actually different.
- Shy people tend to feel afraid or anxious if they have to establish social interactions with other people. This fear or anxiety will make them avoid various social interactions, even if they want to be involved in it. Often times, shyness can be corrected if the person is willing to change their behavior and mindset.
- Meanwhile, introverts are the type of personality that tends not to change in the long term. Introverts do not interact much with other people because they are quite satisfied with their current pattern of interaction (which is assumed to be at a lower level than extroverts). They avoid social interaction not because of anxiety or fear, but because they do not feel the need to socialize too often.
- Research shows that shy people and introverts don't have a strong correlation. You may be shy but really want to interact with other people. On the other hand, you can also be an introvert but can really open up to some of your closest friends.
- You can measure your shyness and take quizzes based on the research on the Wellesley College website.
Step 2. Observe the characteristics of introverts
Most people fall somewhere in the middle of an "introverted" and "extroverted" personality. The personality can even change in certain situations. If you suspect that your friend is actually an introvert, take a look at some of the characteristics below:
- He prefers to be alone. In most cases, introverts prefer to be alone. They will not feel lonely and often do not need "time alone" to restore energy. Introverts are not antisocial; they simply have a lower need to socialize.
- He seems very sensitive to stimuli. This applies not only to social stimulation, but also physical stimulation! Compared to extroverts, introverts' biological responses are more sensitive to sound stimuli, bright light, and crowds. That's why they tend to avoid stimulating environments like nightclubs or carnivals.
- He hates group projects. Usually, introverts prefer to do things alone, or at least with just one or two other people. They prefer to solve problems without outside help.
- He likes to socialize in a less crowded environment. Sometimes, introverts also enjoy the presence of other people around them. But too much social interaction (however interesting it may be) can leave them feeling exhausted and feeling the need to “hoard up” energy alone. That's why they often avoid the hustle and bustle and prefer to hang out with some of their closest friends.
- He likes routine. Extroverts like to try new things, but introverts are the opposite. They prefer something stable and predictable. They like to plan things ahead of time, do the same thing every day, and think carefully before they act.
Step 3. Realize that some characteristics cannot be changed
You may often be tempted to ask him to change. But keep in mind, even though introverts can "change" themselves to be more friendly and open, research shows that there are biological systems in the brains of introverts and extroverts that can't be changed forever.
- For example, extroverts tend to respond more strongly to the hormone dopamine – the chemical “reward” your brain gives you – than introverts.
- The amygdala (the part of the brain responsible for processing emotions and responding to stimuli) in extroverts is also different from introverts.
Step 4. Invite your friends to take a personality test
Trust me, it's nice if you can learn to recognize each other's personalities together. The Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory is one of the most popular tests to assess your personality type. But to take the official test, you really need to be accompanied by a mental health professional. However, the unofficial version has been circulating on the internet. Of course the results will not be completely valid, but at least it can give a little idea about your personality.